Public Health and Safety
We’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you travel to the Black Rock Desert, please be mindful of the health and safety of yourself and your group, as well as your neighbors and the local communities you pass through. Follow state and local guidelines.
Without Black Rock City’s infrastructure and personnel, emergency services on playa will be very limited this summer. Heading out to the desert this year means more preparation is warranted to provide for your own safety. A membership from AirMedCare Network or other emergency medevac provider is wise. GPS and location-finding in case of emergency are critical (see note below). Read this post for more information about emergency services on playa this summer.
The Nevada Division of Public & Behavioral Health has information on food and water safety that may be helpful as you plan for the playa.
Cell service on the playa is unreliable. Consider bringing radios to be able to communicate with your group (check range and battery life, and practice using them in camp).
Navigation & GPS
GPS coordinates can describe your location to emergency responders, and GPS can track you when there’s no cell service and help you find your way back to camp. Load a GPS navigation app (in advance!) on your phone or bring a handheld GPS device. If you’re camped on the playa and strike out on your own, communicate with friends ahead of time, and be clear about your plans and location.
Both you and your camp need to be well-lit at night to be easily seen by others—drivers especially. Consider placing your tent near your car for added safety. Don’t leave camp without a headlamp or flashlight!
Hazardous Road Debris & Securing Your Load
Secure your load safely like someone you love is driving behind you, because they are. Follow these tips and leave the highways clean, beautiful, and safe. Read this post for more information on how and why to secure your load.
- “Tie It Strong!” Firmly secure your load with straps, rope, bungee cords or netting.
- “Cover It Up!” Loose items should be firmly covered with a tarp or netting.
- “Lighter On Bottom!” Evenly distribute your load.
- “Do Not Overload!” Keep items level with the truck bed or trailer unless firmly tied down.
- “Double Check!” Ask yourself, “Is this roadworthy?”